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UPDATE: On January 8, Project CBD and CannaVest posted a joint statement detailing additional testing results. They note, however, that “These findings do not negate or refute the lab data presented in Project CBD’s original report.” Click here for full statement.
A half year ago, Project CBD assigned a writer to investigate and report on Medical Marijuana Inc., a penny stock umbrella company that markets “hemp oil” products infused with cannabidiol (CBD), a medicinal component of the cannabis plant. Originally we had hoped to shed light on the complex financial machinations of Medical Marijuana Inc., a subject that had been addressed by a few stock market analysts but not by journalists in general interest publications.
To read Brittany Hardy’s letter about why CBD-only laws aren’t enough for parents with sick kids, click here.
Project CBD was poised to publish Aaron Miguel Cantu’s research when we heard complaints from several sources that people were getting sick, in some cases “violently ill,” when they ingested “Real Scientific Hemp Oil,” Medical Marijuana Inc.’s flagship product. We decided to delay the release of our report until we had a chance to look into whether there was any truth to these allegations.
To read Vanessa Waltz’s coverage of the multi-level marketing efforts of CBD oil companies, click here.
Our investigation proceeded in an unanticipated direction, involving analytical lab tests, hemp oil production tours, and a crash course in scientific data regarding toxic solvents, heavy metals, and other contaminants. We have presented our findings in this report.
The preceding text was a press release from Project CBD. The full text of the report, which is 31 pages long, can be reviewed here.
The report carefully tracks the “rotten roots” of the founders and investors of Medical Marijuana Inc (aka HempMeds). It calls out the lack of transparency in sourcing of the hemp for the CBD oils being sold. The report also discusses a vial of Real Scientific Hemp Oil that tested positive for heavy metals (and was then retested with different results) and multiple vials of RSHO Gold testing positive for hexane and other dangerous industrial solvents.
The report also discusses a visit to what is essentially the RSHO production facility, which did not have equiptment to test for heavy metal contamination or fungal mycotoxins. The report concluded that while the seriously contaminated batch of high CBD oil may not be representative of HempMeds’ products, it is impossible to know the extent of the problem, how much oil was contaminated, and what was done with it after the fact.
In the end, the report concludes that HempMeds is a product of prohibition: a predatory business model built by career opportunists and fraudsters whose products and model will not survive the establishment of a regulated cannabis market. Their products, even if not contaminated, are not competitive with established brands in states with a medical marijuana program from a price, consistency or dose-per-dollar standpoint. It is marketing, and marketing alone, that sustains this business.
Photo Credit: Arallyn CC BY 2.0) via Flickr